14 December 2017
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  • 13/12/2017 - IRAQ

    Fr Paul describes the expectations of 270 families who are back home in Karemlash. The priority is to rebuild houses and clear the land for planting and sowing. He appeals to those who have fled to come back to breathe new life into the area. A football match with young Christians and Muslims marks the difficult return to normal life.




    13/12/2017 - CHINA-VATICAN

    Msgr. Matthias Yu Chengxin, underground bishop of Hanzhong, has died

    by Li Yuan

    He spent several years under house arrest and then in forced labor. He was appointed coadjutor bishop of Hanzhong, when his brother, Msgr. Bartolomeo Yu, was arrested in 1989. Hit by a stroke, he retired, also to safeguard the new found unity of the diocese between official and underground.


    13/12/2017 - TURKEY - ISRAEL - PALESTINE

    Jerusalem capital, Erdogan leads the Islamic uprising against Israel


    An extraordinary OIC summit is scheduled today in Istanbul, at the request of current president Turkey. Ankara's goal is to promote a common front in response to the controversial US decision. The Turkish leader stands as a new "defender of the Palestinian cause". But divisions and contrasts remain within the organization.


    13/12/2017 - HONG KONG

    Christmas letter from Hong Kong

    by Mario Marazzi

    "[T]he joy of Christmas, the joy of life, does not come from material things, but from simplicity and the gift of ourselves to others." A PIME priest who experienced his mission between Italy, Hong Kong, and China gives his thoughts and memories. The laity who consecrate their lives to evangelisation following the example of Felice Tantardini.


    13/12/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Environmental care starts at Rathmalana, near Colombo

    by Melani Manel Perera

    The clean-up was carried out last Saturday as part of a series of initiatives undertaken to mark a local association’s 200th anniversary in 2020. People must be informed on how to manage trash disposal. Provincial and local authorities backed the initiative.


    13/12/2017 - UNITED NATIONS

    One Planet summit: World Bank to stop financing gas and oil


    French President Macron, who hosted the summit, said "We are losing the battle" against global warming. The temperature should rise by 3.5 degrees Celsius. A new space observatory is planned. Climate change is the cause of increasingly frequent and severe floods, droughts, storms and heat waves.


    13/12/2017 - INDIA

    Four Pentecostals arrested in Madhya Pradesh, they were praying for Christmas

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    Rev Karan was among those detained. Police broke into Bethel Church and stopped Advent prayers. For Sajan K George, "In small remote areas, Jesus is the only refuge".


    13/12/2017 - VIETNAM

    Vietnamese Catholics serving the poor and children at Christmas

    by Paul N. Hung

    About 9.79 per cent of the country’s population lives in poverty, 5.27 per cent are at risk. About 1.5 million children live in difficult situations. Various social and charitable groups are undertaking a number of initiatives for the upcoming holidays. About three thousand children are expected at the Christmas Festival organised by Caritas Saigon. The diocese of Hanoi and the Goethe Institute are working together to raise funds.


    13/12/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: we go to Mass not to 'give' to God, but to receive what we need


    "We Christians go to Mass on Sundays to meet the Risen Lord, or better to let ourselves be met by Him, listen to His word, feed ourselves at His table, and thus become Church, or His mystical living Body in the world today". "We need to participate in Sunday Mass because only with the grace of Jesus, with His living presence in us and among us, we can be His credible witnesses".


    13/12/2017 - USA - NORTH KOREA

    Tillerson: 'Ready to talk ' with North Korea ‘at any time’


    A change of course compared to the US position demanding the disarmament of Pyongyang as a precondition. A "quiet period" is needed without missile tests. "Let's meet and talk". But Trump's position "has not changed".


    13/12/2017 - INDIA

    Indian Vice President praises Christians: they build the nation


    Venkaiah Naidu was the guest of honor at the Christmas greetings ceremony. Catholics "manage the best educational institutions in the country". "Continue your service with special attention to the disadvantaged sectors of society".


    12/12/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope calls on Latin America to defend the diversity of its peoples


    In the Mass on the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, Francis calls for resistance against the "homogenisation that ends up imposing – through attractive slogans – a single way of thinking, of being, of feeling, [and] of living."


    12/12/2017 - NORTH KOREA

    Experts warn that North Korea is “stealing” bitcoins


    The theft occurred when exchanges of the virtual currency in South Korea were hacked. Attacks are likely to continue as long as its value continues to rise. The virtual currency provides great anonymity outside government control.


    12/12/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Protesters hold rally in Lahore over missing activist, raising fears for his life (Videos)

    by Kamran Chaudhry

    Nothing is known of the activist’s fate after 2 December. He had attended a meeting on the Islamabad protests. The National Commission for Justice and Peace joined the protest. Amnesty International calls enforced disappearance a blight on Pakistan’s reputation. Almost 300 people have disappeared between August and October.


    12/12/2017 - IRAN

    For the first time since the Islamic Revolution, a western band performs in Tehran


    Germany-based Schiller, an electronic band that has sold seven million albums, will perform for five straight evenings. For decades, Iran’s clerical rulers had banned concerts seen as a "cultural invasion". Now they are sign that the Islamic Republic is opening up under moderate President Rouhani.


    12/12/2017 - INDONESIA

    Authorities defend the religious freedom of non-Muslims in Java

    by Mathias Hariyadi

    Regulations by some Muslim community leaders had banned gatherings by minority religious groups and the use of loudspeakers. They were issued days after members of the Indonesia Bethel Church had held a ceremony. For the local police chief, national values ​​of pluralism “are not negotiable".


    12/12/2017 - CHINA-US-EU-JAPAN

    US, EU and Japanese initiative to curb Chinese economic expansion


    At the WTO meeting in Buenos Aires, the United States, the European Union and Japan would announce a joint declaration against measures such as subsidies, forced transfer of technology, infringement of intellectual property rights and unfair business practices by Chinese state companies.


    12/12/2017 - SAUDI ARABIA

    After 35 years, cinema returns to Saudi Arabia


    The first cinema should open its doors next March. They were closed due to pressure from religious authorities in 1982. The crown prince's reforms continue in the context of the "Vision 2030" program, towards a more "moderate and open" country.


    12/12/2017 - BANGLADESH - USA

    The Times Square bomber, a Bengali radicalized in the US


    Akayed Ullah is 27 years old and comes from the Chittagong district. He entered the United States seven years ago and worked as a taxi driver. "He was radicalized by watching Islamic propaganda videos on the internet".


    12/12/2017 - RUSSIA - SYRIA

    Russia's victory in Syria; Hilarion calls for return of Christian refugees

    by Vladimir Rozanskij

    Putin announces end to fight against ISIS and orders withdrawal of a part of the troops. Western powers criticisms of Russian intervention. The unity of Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic Christians for the return of refugees to their homeland. Also the Russian Muslims mobilize for reconstruction and aid.


    12/12/2017 - TURKEY

    Turkey, life sentence sought for three journalists accused of complicity in (failed) coup


    Brothers Ahmet and Mehmet Altan and the 73-year-old columnist Nazli Ilicak. Judges rule they attempted to overthrow government and constitutional order and are guilty of complicity with a terrorist organization. Lawyers bail application denied. The government wants to build 228 new prisons in five years.


    11/12/2017 - MIDDLE EAST – UNITED STATES

    Mideast Christians against Trump over Jerusalem capital, a decision that destroys hope for peace


    The Chaldean patriarchate criticises a choice that complicates the situation and fuels conflicts and wars. Card al-Rahi calls the decision “destructive” and a violation of international resolutions. Coptic pope Tawadros II cancels a meeting with US Vice President Pence. Somewhat resigned, Palestinians continue their protest. For Israeli peace group, the US has abdicated its role of mediator in the region.


    11/12/2017 - INDIA

    Fr Tom Uzhunnalil receives the Mother Teresa Award 2017

    by Nirmala Carvalho

    The ceremony took place yesterday in Mumbai. The Salesian abducted in Yemen was recognised for his “dedication and commitment" and his work in "a location of great danger". For Fr Tom, "Wars are not the solution".


    11/12/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: for Christians, patients are at the centre of health care


    Pope Francis released his message for the 26th World Day of the Sick, which will be celebrated on 11 February 2018. " The image of the Church as a ‘field hospital’ that welcomes all those wounded by life is a very concrete reality”.


    11/12/2017 - INDONESIA

    Indonesian authorities on maximum terror alert over Christmas


    More than 20,000 agents will be deployed in Jakarta from 23 December to 1 January. Terrorists target Christian places of worship and government buildings. In 2000, attacks against 11 churches left 13 people dead and 100 wounded. The country’s two main moderate Islamic organisations provide security to Christians.


    11/12/2017 - KOREA

    Aid to TB patients in North Korea: healing has “no border”


    The Eugene Bell Foundation provides medicines and food for 1,500 patients in 12 centres. For more than twenty years, Fr Hammond, aka Father Grandfather, and the NGO have helped North Korean patients.


    11/12/2017 - CHINA

    Xi Jinping’s false promises and the expulsion of the “low-end population” from Beijing

    by Willy Wo-Lap Lam

    Tens of thousands of migrants and their families have been expelled and sent away from the capital. Yet, at the recent Party Congress, President Xi had promised to provide support and help against poverty. There is no reward nor legal or charity for displaced persons. The country’s "social Darwinism" condemns the rural people to marginalisation and allows urban classes to enjoy privileges and advantages. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


    11/12/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: it is easier to console than to be consoled, abandon bitterness and complaints


    The problem is that we are "masters of negativity", because we carry within us the wound of original sin while "we are beggars at being positive" and we do not like to beg for consolation. "It would do us all good today, each of us, to examine our conscience: how is my heart? Do I have any bitterness there? Do I have any sadness? What is my language like? Is it in praise of God, of beauty or always of complaints? And ask the Lord for the grace of courage ".


    11/12/2017 - PHILIPPINES

    Manila, Card. Tagle: 'Stop complaining, act!'


    Everyone has been given "gifts" to meet the challenges facing the nation. More than 2,000 people attend mass in the Cathedral of Manila for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. "Let's look at Mary. In her, God has triumphed. His love, His grace will prevail "


    11/12/2017 - IRAQ

    The Iraqi premier announces end of war against ISIS. But the jihadist ideology remains


    Al-Abadi confirms that the Iraqi forces "have taken complete control" of the Iraqi-Syrian border. He speaks of victory as the fruit of "unity and determination" and obtained "in a short time". Previously Russia had described the mission in Syria against the Caliphate as "complete". However, a military victory does not imply the eradication of fundamentalist doctrine.






    Editor's choices

    MIDDLE EAST – UNITED STATES
    Mideast Christians against Trump over Jerusalem capital, a decision that destroys hope for peace



    The Chaldean patriarchate criticises a choice that complicates the situation and fuels conflicts and wars. Card al-Rahi calls the decision “destructive” and a violation of international resolutions. Coptic pope Tawadros II cancels a meeting with US Vice President Pence. Somewhat resigned, Palestinians continue their protest. For Israeli peace group, the US has abdicated its role of mediator in the region.


    CHINA
    Xi Jinping’s false promises and the expulsion of the “low-end population” from Beijing

    Willy Wo-Lap Lam

    Tens of thousands of migrants and their families have been expelled and sent away from the capital. Yet, at the recent Party Congress, President Xi had promised to provide support and help against poverty. There is no reward nor legal or charity for displaced persons. The country’s "social Darwinism" condemns the rural people to marginalisation and allows urban classes to enjoy privileges and advantages. Courtesy of the Jamestown Foundation.


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